Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

The 2Cubed Web Design Wexford & Dublin Blog contains blog post content with valuable information such as website tips and tricks to improve your website.

Simplifying SEO – Link Building

Often times, the basics and fundamentals of SEO are overlooked as we focus on the more technical challenges that Search Engine Optimisation presents. Before diving in to the more complex SEO issues, we should focus on two of the absolute basic and key items – content & link building. For this post, we’ll take a look at link building and how to do it correctly.

Image credit to Diggity Marketing.

What is link building?

Link building is the action whereby another website contains a hyperlink back to your website. As simple as that sounds, a high-quality link building strategy requires a great deal of time and patience and is something that one cannot rest on. The value of link building remains hugely important for SEO in 2020 and will remain so for some time.

It’s important to note that – Google do not take any malicious or non-genuine link strategy lightly and your website will suffer drastically as a result. More on Google’s policy regarding link schemes and their guidelines can be found here.

How can I build good quality links?

Google’s Penguin update focused not just on the amount of links to a website but the quality and relevance of the links instead. Some years ago, black-hat techniques would see websites participating in link farming and so on with the sole purpose of increasing visibility and this was unfair to the user doing it the right way! This all changed back in 2011 with the release of Panda which as mentioned, focused on high quality links and reduced the the value of a link from a ‘thin’ website or a website purely in place to participate in black-hat strategies.

Building good links the right way involves effort. Reaching out to relevant partners and building trust and a relationship may present the opportunity to have a link placed on that partners website. This may be a guest blog post, a help guide or just a link on a ‘Partnership’ page as an example. The relevance of the link is also a big factor. Note that link exchanging is not a good practice and can lead to penalties. This is the idea of exchanging a link purely for the sake of doing so without any real relevance or benefit for both parties.

How to measure link building performance?

Many tools allow you to view the total number of backlinks to your website. Some of the Pro or paid tools such as Ahrefs, Moz Pro or SEM Rush will include a detailed ranking on these links and the probable authority of that link. This means you get an overview of these links and can tailor your outreach to similar sites or industries to build even further. Google Search Console is a fantastic tool and will also provide insight on these backlinks. Using the ‘acquisition’ – ‘referral’ option on Google Analytics shows you where exactly the traffic to your site originated.

To summarise, focusing on high quality and relevant link building strategies can have a massive payoff for your website and is something that should be at the forefront of SEO work.

To find out how we can help your SEO strategy, please Contact 2Cubed today!

You can also contact us on 01 905 8114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie

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Digital Audit

A Digital Audit can certainly bring many things to mind that you may not have considered. A full and thorough audit of your brands’ online position is certainly worth the effort.

What is a Digital Audit?

In our previous post, we looked at an SEO audit and what this can bring your website in terms of organic positioning – https://2cubed.ie/2018/11/free-seo-audit/

A full digital audit looks into much more. While an SEO review is essential, we take a look at the bigger picture online. Just some of these elements include:

  • SEO Strategy: On-page, off-page and the technical elements involved in ensuring your website performs as expected.
  • Social Media presence: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram & more.
  • Blogging: An informative and descriptive blog can present many opportunities.
  • Other online platforms: Google Business, Google Maps, Directories, Reviews & many more. 

Competition is greater than ever nowadays. Ensuring your online presence is optimised and efficient may be what makes you stand out from the crowd. 

Measuring performance

Building your online presence is a time consuming task that involves a great deal of effort. Ensuring that you can accurately measure the work carried out is very important. Tools like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Social Media Metrics and so on are vital to measure performance. Using these correctly will involve some getting used to but are definitely worth the effort. You can use the data from these tools to view elements and KPIs such as goals, traffic acquisition, audience behaviour and so much more. This data is a great way to see progression!

If you’re serious about building your presence online, then a digital audit is something that should be considered as a priority. By discovering faults, issues and areas for improvement, you can develop a long term strategy of key steps to help your business on an upward track moving into the future. Start your Digital Audit today!

To find out more about what we can offer you, please Contact 2Cubed today!

You can also contact us on 01 905 8114 or 051-440425, email hello@2cubed.ie

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Social Media Advertising – is it worth it?

Social media advertising spend was over $100 billion in 2019. This is expected to exceed $200 billion in the next 3 years. The potential to build successful social media campaigns is certainly viable but is it worth the risk?

Any company with a social media strategy in place, will most likely have spent money on ads or is planning to in the short to medium term. As competition grows, companies are looking into ways to actively engage with users, to drive traffic, boost sales and increase brand awareness.

Social media usage is at an all-time high. More than 3 billion people are actively using social media on a regular basis*. This means the potential to target your ideal customer is certainly possible on a daily basis. How you choose to do this is key. *source – https://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/

So, taking this into account, what are the best ways to maximise ROI? And which platforms work best?

Facebook

Facebook is, and will be for some time the number 1 for social media usage and social advertising. With over 2.4 billion active users, this platform is absolutely vital to any planned social spend. Here at 2Cubed, we have found Facebook advertising to be the most efficient, cost-effective strategy when advertising online. The ability to target a preferred audience, in multiple locations is a simple process if you know your target audience. The variety of ad types is also quite good (photos, videos, events, jobs etc). The budget spending flexibility is also a great tool and even for small amounts you are likely to see some decent results on engagement and return on investment.

Instagram

With over 1 billion active users, Instagram is a hugely popular social media channel and continues to grow. The ability to place ads on the platform is also a simple enough process since Facebook integrated both platforms centrally in their Ad Manager. Ads created on Facebook can now display on Instagram and again, the ability to target your preferred audience is relatively straightforward. In fact, you don’t even need an Instagram account for your business in order to advertise on the platform. The downside of Instagram advertising can be the lower engagement rate on ads compared to Facebook. In saying that, according to Facebook ‘over 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile per day’. Instagram advertising is certainly one to consider in the coming year. You can read more on this here.

Twitter

In the past few days, Twitter have announced that revenues in the company have exceeded $1 billion for the first time. Advertising money accounts for a large portion of this. This obviously suggests that more companies are considering Twitter for advertising purposes. Audience targeting is simple and efficient but not quite as effective as Facebook. Twitter’s platform is getting better and while we wouldn’t suggest ploughing money into a campaign just yet, a small budget campaign may be worth doing to gauge how successful it can be.

These were just some of the platforms available when considering advertising online. When combined with a solid SEO plan and Google Ads, social can be a great way to tap into your users first hand whilst controlling your budgets closely.

Linkedin

Linkedin is a tricky one. With over 300 million active users, it can be an excellent platform in general but when it comes to advertising, we’ve found it to be not so good for the most part. The cost-per-click is sometimes outrageous and a small to medium campaign can lead to costs spiralling in a short space of time with varying degrees of success. Linkedin advertising may improve and is possibly quite a good tool for large corporations but for now we would suggest sticking to the more user and budget friendly competitor platforms.

Contact us

If you’re looking for assistance with online marketing, 2Cubed can help. Contact us today by using the form below or you can use our dedicated ‘get a quote’ form here.

SEO Trends 2020

In this post, we will take a look at what to look out for in 2020 from an SEO point of view. Search Engine Optimisation is a huge focus for many online businesses nowadays and is more crucial than ever in order to help drive traffic and ultimately sales.

Image credit to Diggity Marketing.

Content and BERT

Fundamentally, SEO has for a long time been made up of a number of set variables, such as; backlinks, content and keywords. As search engines are constantly developing, we’re now at a point where the bots sent out by search engines to crawl websites are smarter than ever and becoming more human like due to advancements in AI. This leads us to think not just about content simply stuffed with keywords but content that is well written and answers the queries of real users. This was highlighted back in October last year by the introduction of Google’s BERT algorithm (Read Here). As mentioned in the article, each day almost 15% of queries searched for haven’t been searched for before. By analysing your website content in a more human format, allows Google to show users the most relevant websites based on the search term. Content is king as they say!

Technical SEO

Here at 2Cubed, something we’ve taken a particular focus in over the past year has been technical SEO. We had written a post outlining this in detail here. Technical SEO is the focus on the architecture of your site, the speed, the usability of pages and much more. Google Search Console is an excellent tool to examine any warnings or errors and ensuring these are clear will help massively toward SEO performance. Any site focusing on SEO this year should be fully aware of this.

Structured Data

If you’ve ever searched a term on Google, you most likely will have seen some structured data such as featured snippets. Featured snippets are described by Google as ‘Google’s search results sometimes show listings where the snippet describing a page comes before a link to a page, not after as with our standard format. Results displayed this way are called featured snippets.’

By adding structured data to your site allows you the opportunity to compete for space on the results page above the first position. This is a fantastic way to grow traffic and improve click-through rates.

Voice Search

More and more, users are searching queries by asking questions. Use of Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and others are on the rise and the technology behind these brings us back to BERT. Conversational queries are not text and as such, search engines need to understand what is being asked and which relevant results are to display. By reviewing your content and optimising it with this in mind, you’ll have a much better chance of appearing for a search term and increasing traffic to your site.

This was just some of the trends to look out for in 2020. Applying these to your SEO strategy will most likely lead to positive results! Some others to keep in mind are:

  • Link Building
  • Mobile SEO
  • Local SEO
  • UX

2Cubed can help you grow your online business! Check out a full list of services and our website process here – https://2cubed.ie/services/

You can use our dedicated quotation form below or contact us with any questions you may have here.

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Fix Breadcrumbs Markup

Over the past couple of weeks, we have received mass emails in relation to Breadcrumb markup errors from Google. You may have received a similar email:

What are Breadcrumbs?

A breadcrumb, or a trail is a visual element added to show a user where exactly they are within a website. It also indicates the path within the hierarchy of a site. As Structured Data types are constantly evolving, this information is now targeted by Google while indexing and displayed as a rich result to users on the search results page in order to provide users a richer experience. You can see an example of this along with more information here. There is also now a dedicated ‘Breadcrumbs’ option within Google Search Console highlighting error types and potential fixes.

If breadcrumbs are not enabled on your site but you’ve received the email then there may be a setting within the site or theme causing this. This is where we can help. If you have any query or issue in relation to Breadcrumbs or even just a general query, please contact us.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, our expert team is on hand to assist with any questions you may have. In addition, we also offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services and our website process – https://2cubed.ie/services/

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Keyword Research

In order to grow your online business, to drive traffic toward your site and achieve set goals, a fundamental area is keyword research. Whether you plan on developing a solid SEO strategy or a PPC campaign, keyword research gives you the option to fully research and think about what your users may search for.

keyword research

What are keywords?

Keywords are essentially the words or terms that you enter into a search engine when looking for an answer or a service. Put yourself in your ideal users’ shoes for a moment and think about the path they should take in order to see your website. Whether you are selling products, providing a service or providing information to users, you’ll see a huge benefit from developing a keyword strategy.

Where do I start?

Start by mapping out some broad terms related to your website. Keep them relevant to your sector and what you do. From here, you can begin to build out more long-tail keywords which are more specific to what you offer. Long-tail keywords are the three or four word terms that accurately describe your product.

For example, take a store selling sporting goods. They would begin with some general but competitive keywords like sporting goodssport shop and so on. From here, narrow it down to more specific items such as hockey equipment Dublin, boys running shoes Kilkenny, Wexford kids GAA shirt etc. By developing and implementing these long-tail keywords in to your website content, you’ll have a much better chance of being found on the search engines. On top of this, more relevant traffic to your website and the chance to convert these users into sales. The long-tail keywords usually have less competition and a higher chance of conversion!

Useful Keyword Planner tools

There are many options online to assist with keyword research. Some free tools are available but may be quite limited. You’ll have far more features and options with some paid tools.

Wordstream – https://www.wordstream.com/keywords

Google Keyword Planner (connected to Adwords) – Keyword Planner

Wordtracker – https://www.wordtracker.com/

By developing a keyword strategy for your website, you’ll give yourself every chance to be successful online. The importance of this can’t be understated. By using some of the keyword tools, you’ll get some fresh ideas for keywords that you may not have considered previously. Taking these terms and implementing them into your blogs, PPC, SEO and on-page content should enhance your online visibility greatly!

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we offer a number of options to help you develop and a keyword strategy. In addition, we also offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services and our website process – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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5 steps to prepare your website for Brexit

At present, the UK is due to leave the European Union as of 31st October 2019. Even though the vote to leave Brexit was way back in June 2016, much uncertainty remains even at this late point in the process. Learning how to prepare your website for the implications of Brexit should be considered. Firstly, understanding how Brexit will affect your business as a whole is vital. We’ve found some useful articles to help fellow business owners here and herebrexit website ready

 

1. Trade

If you run an e-commerce site, purchase products from the UK or engage in any trade across the EU then you’ll likely suffer from higher prices, longer shipping and custom hold-ups and in turn hiked prices for your customers. It may be useful to contact UK suppliers and providers that you engage in to seek assurances. Back in January, Amazon, the largest marketplace in the UK noted that businesses trading on the platform should prepare in case of a no deal Brexit. This remains a real challenge but while there are many uncertainties, this may present a chance for Irish companies to promote buying Irish. If the expected skyrocketing of prices from the UK comes to fruition then there may be a huge potential to bring customers back shopping locally instead of using Amazon, Ebay and other online platforms.

2. Data Protection

Data protection has been heavily in the limelight in recent years. This is mainly due to the GDPR changes that came into place in May 2018. EU wide regulations were updated to protect user data processed by organisations and many businesses were forced to take action in order to meet these stricter guidelines. With the UK leaving the EU, this may require some further thought especially if you own or run a website and process data to or from the UK. If storing any of this data, using a newsletter service such as Mailchimp or taking payments from UK customers then you may need to consider reviewing and amending your existing processes and terms. You can read more on this on https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/bf5200-data-management/.

3. Currency

Since the Brexit vote was announced, pound sterling has been volatile to say the least. The conversion from € to £ has gone from £1.28 to £1.06 over this period and how it will continue remains unclear. As a website owner and especially if dealing with currency conversions, it’s vital to prepare for a worst case scenario. This PDF can help you prepare in detail.

4. Growth and Expansion

Growing your online business within the UK market again remains unclear but in order to protect your business, preparing for a worst case scenario is advised. Many companies may struggle just to stay afloat after a potentially hard Brexit so future plans to expand in another market will need to be examined in a realistic manner. 

5. Website Security

As GDPR is now a vital area of many websites, a critical component on this is ensuring data stored and processed is fully secure. The implications of a data breach can be catastrophic for businesses. A secure website allows you peace of mind that data held is fully secure and allows you to focus on other key areas such as website sales. The storage of this data should be treated as a potential serious security issue. If you have any questions regarding the website hosting or data storage then please use our contact form to send a message – https://2cubed.ie/contact/

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we are on hand to assist you with any required changes to your website which may be impacted as a result of Brexit. In addition, we also offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services and our website process – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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Google Shopping

If you own or run an e-commerce store, you may want to consider looking into Google Shopping to help get the most out of your selling experience. Google Shopping is a powerful platform that allows you to display products from your website directly on to the search results page.

Setting up a Google Shopping feed and combining it with Google Adwords, allows you the opportunity to get your products in the faces of users without them having to click through to your website and search for the desired product. Many CMS platforms now support plugins to allow you create the shopping feed directly from the back-end of your website which will save time and hassle. 

Once your product feed has been created, it can be seamlessly integrated into Google Merchant Centre. and from here connected to Google Adwords to develop campaigns. The main benefit of setting this up is an increased level of engagement with online shoppers, increase your click-through rates and a greater chance of new customer acquisition.

Google have really ramped up this feature in 2019 and this is fully expected to continue in the coming years. The prominence placed on these product ads is likely to grow as Google look to consolidate merchant products to compete with the likes of Amazon.

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we would be happy to help you with any of the e-commerce needs above, helping you to create and manage product feeds. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services – https://2cubed.ie/services/

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Google AMP in 2019

Google’s AMP project was launched in 2016 and after a slow start, soon became a common feature across mobile search results. AMP or accelerated mobile pages, is a framework developed by Google to rival Facebooks Instant Articles and the technology allows pages to load almost instantly. Last year, we wrote a post about the importance of AMP – See here. So what has changed in the past year and how important is AMP now? 

Nowadays, online users expect everything instantly. Waiting 10 seconds for a website to load is a big no-no in 2019 so enabling AMP can help enormously in getting traffic into your site while getting ahead of your competitors.

Google have now branched out and added some more features to the AMP framework. At present, it’s possible to create:

  • AMP Websites
  • AMP Stories
  • AMP Ads
  • AMP Email

You can find more information on all of the above and see some case study ‘success stories’ by viewing the AMP resource website – https://amp.dev/

Many sites are now seeing the full benefit of having AMP enabled content on their websites and this is likely to increase further into the near future so this needs to be factored in to your thinking if you own, run or manage a website.

Enabling AMP on your website can be tricky but once done correctly, it’s fairly easy to maintain and use on blog posts etc. For example, a number of WordPress plugins are available to help with layout, templates and amplifying content. As an example, you can view our previous post on this topic on your mobile device by clicking here – https://2cubed.ie/2018/06/the-importance-of-amp/amp/

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can advise or help you with any of the needs above, helping you to enable AMP on your website. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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8 Great WordPress Plugins

wordpress plugins

If your site uses WordPress, you’re probably familiar with plugins. Plugins are there to make life easier, essentially. We’ve gone through some of the top plugins on WordPress and picked out 8 that you may want to consider for your site.

  • Woocommerce – Woocommerce powers over 40% of all eCommerce websites on the web. Powerful and easy to use, it allows you to manage products, orders, discount codes and much more. You can read more on Woocommerce here
  • Yoast SEO – Yoast is a plugin to help with SEO on your site. Yoast is a free plugin but the premium version offers more features for advanced SEO. See here for more information.
  • WP Rocket – A number of caching tools are available for WordPress sites and WP Rocket is one of the most popular. Caching helps to maximise site performance and improve speed. The free version offers limited features but a premium version with more advanced options is available. You can read more on WP Rocket here
  • Elementor – This page builder has become one of the more popular tools out there in the past year and the reviews are outstanding. This powerful page builder allows you to easily manage page content and includes both a free and premium version. See here for more.
  • Smush – This plugin is mainly used for image compression and resizing. Having multiple large images on your site will cause issues with speed and performance. Smush helps with this by automatically compressing images once uploaded and again comes with either a free or premium version. You can view the full list of features here
  • Slider Revolution  – Powering over 2.5 million websites, Slider Revolution allows you to add sliders, carousels and more. Currently there isn’t a free version but it is cheap to purchase and includes a good deal of functionality but the premium version gives access to many more templates and features. View a full list of features here
  • Sucuri  – This security plugin helps to flag any security issues or breaches on your website and alerts you if anything does happen. Generally, your website host will look after security but this added layer of protection gives you peace of mind. See here for more info 
  • Redirection – This plugin allows you to easily manage 301s, 404s and more which can help reduce errors and improve site ranking. This plugin can be a useful tool but used incorrectly it can cause some issues. Take a look at more features here 

These are just some of the tools you can use to improve your WordPress site. *Please be aware that installing and updating plugins on your website may cause some issues*

At 2Cubed Web Design & Development, we can assist you with any of the needs above, helping you decide on and install / updating plugins. We offer a number of services to help you grow your online presence. Check out our list of services – https://2cubed.ie/services/

Contact us today for more information on the services we provide – Contact Us

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